COOL, BUT CONSCIENTIOUS
Long-time brand friend, ADAM ELI, is a trailblazing activist at an international level. Co-founder of Voices 4 and author of the recently released, The New Queer Conscience, ADAM uses social media to spread the word on activism, rallies, marches and pertinent news in the queer agenda. In addition, his posts on identity, body image and dating challenge the LGBTQ+ community to treat itself and others with true compassion and inclusivity. We sat down with our friend to discuss how this PRIDE is very different and what our responsibility as a queer community is.
What drew you to partner with Boy Smells during PRIDE?
It is important to support queer owned small businesses. This is especially true during Pride and even more so during Pride in a pandemic. Also, I have a soft spot for Boy Smells. The company launched in mid 2016 which is the same time that I began to use social media as an organizing tool. We ended up growing alongside each other, always rooting for each other. They were one of my first supporters and I was one of theirs. I am really glad we finally get to work together.
As a prominent activist, why were you drawn to the COOL TO BE KIND mantra associated with the Cameo candle?
In my new (and first!) book, "The New Queer Conscience," I argue that queer people anywhere are responsible for queer people everywhere. I lay out an idealized future where within the queer community it is seen as cool, socially desirable, and even expected that we look out for one another. The book ends with ten calls to action to make this dream possible and the first is about inter community kindness. COOL TO BE KIND is a strong summation of my book's first suggestion!
Why do you think we are still fighting for queer rights? What about queerness is so threatening to the status quo?
Hatred is nothing but fear of the other, fear of the unknown. In order to be our authentic and wonderful selfs, queer people have to break certain rules that are otherwise thought of as unbreakable. And that scares people. It is far easier to punish an “outsider” than it is to look inward and reevaluate ideas of love, gender, partnership, art, body, family, culture and beauty that you always knew to be true.
What does visibility mean to you?
The knowledge that being queer means you are never alone, that being queer means you are a part of something greater than yourself.
As an LGBTQ individual, what has PRIDE historically represented for you and how is that shifting in the face of the pandemic?
Pride is when we celebrate how far we have come and recommit to the work that is still left to do.
Follow ADAM on Instagram via @adameli.